Report at eight months out

5/6/11—April 24 was my eight months off anniversary. I began writing an update on that day, but never finished it. Lately I’ve been having an excess of  “mini waves,” days or a couple of day where my symptoms are higher than what passes for normal nowadays. I make it a policy not to write my updates when I’m feeling either better or worse than normal. My goal is to report my baseline. That being said, if I continue to wait for a string of normal days, I’ll be at my nine months off anniversary before I get this eight months update posted. It’s just been up and down like that. So here it goes.

These are my symptoms, listed in order of severity (most to least), each rated with a number 0-10 (0 = nonexistent, 10 = unbearable) …

Muscle symptoms & resulting pain—6 (at six months off was a 6)
This symptom, for me, is rather like “an evil little capelet.” It has a high neck reaching up towards the base of my skull. It surrounds my neck and covers my shoulders, upper back, collarbone and upper arms. What I wouldn’t give to cast this particular garment off! This is the symptom that stands between me and functionality.

I considered giving it a 5.5 this time around, but it really hasn’t reduced enough to justify that rating. Still, there’s something up with it. Sometimes, instead of sensing this symptom as a whole, I can feel it in parts. Maybe the “capelet” is starting to unravel?

Muscle tension headaches—4.5 (at six months off was a 4)
This is the first time that a symptom has actually gotten worse for me. It’s noticeably worse, but not dramatically worse. I can see no reason for this, so just chalk it up to the vagaries of benzo healing.

Insomnia—4.5 (at six months off was a 4.5)
No change here.

Internal pressure & heaviness—3.5 (at six months off was a 4)
I had to check in with this symptom to see where it was. Yawn. Ears pop. Check. The heaviness is almost gone. By next month, I’ll probably only list it as internal pressure.

Dizziness, light-headedness & poor balance—3.5 (at six months off was a 4)
I’m surprised at how good my balance is in the water exercise class I’m taking. Sure, I’ve got the water to hold me up, but I’m still doing better than a lot of the other ladies in the class. On the other hand, the number of clumsiness-induced bruises on my legs doesn’t seem to be going down any. The other day I dropped the metal lawn sprinkler on my foot. Ouch!

Tinnitus—2 (at six months off was a 2.5)
This one will be gone soon. I never notice it unless I’m specifically looking for it.

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